Fast, sporty small cars and fresh new sedans will define the next several years of Audi's product plan, along with a push toward electrified powertrains that will support the brand's goal of making plug-in hybrid or battery-electric vehicles account for 25 percent of its sales by 2025.
A3/S3/RS 3: Audi's smallest offering will be freshened for the 2017 model year and hit showrooms in October, adding Audi's Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster and additional driver-assist technologies. Design updates include new front fascia and headlights akin to the redesigned A4.
A new entry-level A3 with a 2.0-liter Miller cycle engine will be added to the lineup by late 2016 or just into January next year.
In the first half of 2017, Audi will augment the A3/S3 lineup with the high-performance RS 3, which gets more than 400 hp from a turbocharged, 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder engine.
The A3 is slated for a redesign in 2020, when it will move to the next generation of the VW Group's MQB platform.
A4/S4: The mainstay of Audi's sedan lineup was redesigned for the 2017 model year and hit showrooms in April. The A4 Allroad arrives this fall.
The sporty S4 sedan is set to join the U.S. lineup in the first quarter next year. It will pack the same aluminum 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 powering the European-market S4, producing some 350 hp.
A freshening of the A4 is planned for 2020 based on typical planning cycles.
A5/S5: The redesigned A5 and sporty S5 coupes both arrive in the second quarter of 2017. Powering the A5 will be the 252-hp 2.0-liter turbo, mated to a six-speed, dual-clutch transmission. The S5 gets a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 generating some 350 hp.
As Automotive News reported in March, the A5 Sportback will land stateside a few months after the A5 and S5 coupes.
A6/S6: Sedans are the theme of Audi's 2018 product cadence, concluding with the next-generation A6 line. The BMW 5-series and Mercedes-Benz E-class competitor is slated to arrive in the second half of 2018 and likely will launch with turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and 3.0-liter V-6 engines.
It also will be offered with an e-tron plug-in hybrid powertrain globally, and U.S. sales are likely.
A7/S7/RS 7: The next generation of Audi's fastback sedan will arrive in mid-2018 for the 2019 model year. Audi design chief Marc Lichte says that among Audi's larger sedans, the next A7 will hew most closely to the lines of his Prologue concept series.
Spy photos of the A7 in testing show taut fender bulges atop the wheel arches, a visual cue to Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system. A character line that appears to fade into the door panels marks a major departure from the chiseled edge that runs through the length of the current A7's body.
Expect redesigns of the sporty S7 and high-performance RS 7 variants to follow, in addition to an e-tron plug-in hybrid model.
A8/S8: The first major redesign of Audi's big 2018 will be its flagship A8. Like the A7 and A6, the next-generation A8 will sport styling cues from Lichte's Prologue series. The flagship also will debut Audi's Traffic Jam Pilot, claimed to be the first-ever Level 3 autonomous driving system to market. The system will allow for hands-free driving on congested roads and highways at speeds of up to 37 mph without driver involvement.
TT/TTS/TT RS: Audi's iconic sporty coupe was redesigned for the 2016 model year, moving onto the MQB platform toolkit. The sporty TTS arrived last fall.
The TT's performance credentials will be dialed up another notch next year when the TT RS arrives in the second quarter. Under the hood will be the same 2.5-liter turbocharged inline five-cylinder engine powering the RS 3, generating about 400 hp.
Under normal planning cycles, the TT would get a freshening in 2019.
R8: The redesigned R8 supercar arrived in the spring for the 2017 model year with a pair of V-10 engines.
An entry-level R8 with a smaller engine, possibly a twin-turbo V-6, had been under consideration, but Audi has no plans at the moment to deviate from the R8's current formula.
Q1, Q2: Two new small crossovers Audi is rolling out elsewhere in the world are highly unlikely to be sold in the U.S.
Q3: The Q3 was freshened for the 2016 model year. Following Audi's usual six- to eight-year global product life cycles, the Q3 would be due for a redesign in 2018. The next-generation Q3 will move to the MQB platform.
Q4/TTQ: Audi may build out its crossover portfolio even further with a model to slot between the Q3 and Q5. Asked on the sidelines of the 2016 Detroit auto show whether Audi planned to build such a vehicle, CEO Rupert Stadler said: "I would not say no."
One idea could be based on the TT Offroad concept crossover shown at the 2014 Beijing auto show, a sporty, coupelike derivative of the Q3. Stadler said in 2015 that were such a car to get the green light, it would be built on the next-generation MQB platform, meaning it wouldn't arrive until after 2020.
Q5/SQ5: The next generation of Audi's top-selling nameplate and its sporty SQ5 sibling will go on sale in the first half of 2017. The vehicles will be the first products built at Audi's new plant in San Jose Chiapa, Mexico, and ride on Audi's second-generation MLB platform toolkit.
Q7: The Q7 was redesigned for the 2017 model year and went on sale last January. A freshening would be due in 2020.
Q8: The next utility vehicle at the larger end of Audi's lineup will arrive in 2019. Stadler has described the Q8 as a "sporty Q derivative," likely to be based on the Q7 with coupelike proportions and seating for five passengers rather than seven. The Q8 also will be among the models to get a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Electric crossover: Audi has confirmed that a battery-electric crossover based on its e-tron Quattro concept shown at last year's Frankfurt auto show will go on sale in 2018 as the spear's tip in its electric-vehicle push.
The crossover, similar in size to a Q7, is expected to hew closely to the concept's 310-mile range and serve as Audi's answer to the Tesla Model X. U.S. sales will closely follow the global launch, but the arrival could slip into 2019.